Void periods have been one of the biggest negatives of the rental sector for landlords for as long as this sort of investment has been around. For periods where a landlord does not have a sitting tenant, they are not making any money, and in some cases they may even be paying out for a mortgage or council tax.
However, according to a new report, void periods are becoming fewer and further between in the current healthy rental market, with many owners now finding that they are able to secure a new tenant before the previous inhabitant has even moved out.
What this means is that they can facilitate a far smoother process for transitioning between tenants, with a new one moving in almost immediately after the old tenant has vacated the property. This keeps income coming in and means the property is not costing the landlord money.
New research published this week by Countrywide found that the average void period in evidence across the UK is now at its lowest ever recorded, hitting just 32 days in 2015. It also said that the number of tenancies being agreed while there is still a sitting tenant has increased this year.
So far in 2015, the number of tenancies agreed while a tenant still lives in a property has climbed to some 33 per cent. At the same point in 2014, this figure was just 27 per cent, showing how rising demand is helping to keep void periods very low.
It also said that the average time between one tenant moving out and the new one moving in when a contract is agreed in advance is just six days. In fact, in ten per cent of all cases, this figure disappears completely, with someone moving on the same day someone else moves out.
Often in these types of agreement, there is a high level of competition for the property as well, which means that landlords are able to bring in a higher rental price. On average, these tenancies are worth £35 more than the asking price, or 105 per cent of what the landlord hoped to achieve.
David Fell, the firm’s research analyst, said: “In larger rental markets, more new lets are being agreed well in advance of the current tenant leaving. As a result we’ve seen void periods fall, with a growing number of landlords having a new tenant lined up over a month before their existing tenant leaves.”